One of the most irritating things about feeding young children is the amount of food that gets wasted.

Am I right, or am I right? I’m talking about half-eaten sandwiches. Cereal bowls left practically untouched. Apples with one bite taken out of them. Then there’s the bacon they needed, yes, because they were dying for it, that gets discarded even before it hits the table. Food waste can be a real problem.

And I’m not even talking about the waste they create by making you buy their current food fixation only to miraculously be over that fixation by the time you return from the store. Eggs today, gone tomorrow.

Most parents, me included, resort to the obvious: we eat the leftovers.

Food waste is one of the main reasons parents stop serving new foods.

That and the aggravation of slaving over a hot stove only to have your creation rejected before it even hits the plate. This is one of the reasons I encourage parents to separate tasting from eating. When a pea-sized sample, offered away from the table, is used to explore there is no food waste.

10 Ways to Eliminate Food Waste When Feeding a Toddler

    One        Discuss minimizing food waste as a family value.

    Two        Serve only pea-sized samples for exploring.

  Three        Serve  less food than you think your toddler wants. Encourage seconds.

   Four         Save leftover bites for snacks. If they look half-eaten, trim them up.

   Five          Serve “sampler plates” of leftovers for snack.

     Six          Freeze leftovers—even 2-3 bites— for a later meal or snack.

  Seven        Don’t pack food for lunch that you know your kids won’t eat.

   Eight        Let your children serve themselves.

   Nine         Repackage jumbo bags into child-size portions.

   Ten           Compost

For more ideas about eliminating food waste…..

The Harvard School of Public Health has a great resource on tackling food waste.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~